Summer Internships

28 04 2016

By Laurin Krekling (@LaurinKrekling)

Summer is right around the corner. For most students this means school is about to be over, and summer jobs are going to start up. This is also the time when college students can start to look for internships in order to gain real-world experience and foot in the door. Looking and applying for internships can be a very stressful process, but here are tips on making it better.

  1. Start looking early

Internships are usually highly competitive positions with numerous applicants. Summer internships start appearing as early as first semester. It is never too early to apply. You will be able to have more options when you look this early, which will help you find your dream internship faster and create less stress.

  1. Getting involved does matter

Get involved with activities as early as you can. Nothing impresses an interviewer more than seeing the numerous activities and/or executive positions you held within different clubs and organizations. This shows a good balance between school and other interests along with leadership skills and much more. This may open the door for other internships through networking with these activities.

  1. Make sure your cover letter and resume are clean

Nothing will turn off an interviewer more than an unorganized resume and cover letter with a lot of grammatical errors. Your resume, in many cases, will be making a first. Make sure it is well organized, neat, and error free. Have many people look over your resume for mistakes that you may have not noticed. Get plenty of opinions. Also, make sure it matches up with the internship you are applying for. If you are a graphic designer, for example, you might want a more creative resume. Get opinions, make it stand out, and be confident.

  1. Finding your internship

There are numerous ways that you can go about finding an internship.

  • School bulletin boards and department websites will advertise available internship. These include the Department of Journalism internship page and UW Oshkosh Handshake.
  • Ask faculty if they have any connections with surrounding companies.
  • Research companies near you and search their career page. If they do not have one, contact them by email and ask about their summer internship opportunities.
  • Search through internship websites such as internships.com, idealist.org, and experience.com.
  • Look at corporate or organizational LinkedIn or Facebook pages, or search for opportunities for work or networking.
  1. You applied and got the interview. Now what?

So you applied for your dream internship and got a call back for an interview. Many places start off with a phone or skype interview. These interviews should be taken as seriously as an in-person interview. Make sure you are prepared. Dressing the part also helps in building your confidence during the phone interview. Stay relaxed.

The next step is usually an in-person interview. Interviews can be very nerve-racking, but it is important to stay calm.

  • Come to the interview prepared.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Come with extra resumes or cover letters.
  • Be prepares with questions.
  • Know your resume and be able to answer questions about it.
  • Most importantly, be yourself.

Internships are a vital part of kick-starting your career. Experience is what companies search for, and internships will give you this head start. Start searching and hopefully you will land your dream internship this summer.

 

 





UWO Bateman Team Awarded Honorable Mention In National Competition

26 04 2016

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Bateman Team and Journalism 455 Public Relations Campaigns class received honorable mention in the national 2016 Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Bateman Case Study Competition.

UWO ranked 16 out of the 70 entries received across the country by PRSSA Headquarters in New York City.

“The UWO Bateman Team and the Journalism Public Relations Campaigns class was able to increase awareness of UWO Student Veterans of America within the Oshkosh community by 20 percent in a seven-week period,” said Jean A. Giovanetti, Department of Journalism Lecturer and faculty adviser to the Bateman team. “They accomplished this with a lot of participation and support from students, staff, faculty, administrators and the Oshkosh community.”

Three teams were chosen as finalists and will present their campaigns to a panel of judges on Wednesday, May 18 in Chicago.

PRSSA challenged participants of the PRSSA 2016 Bateman Case Study Competition to raise awareness and spark local and national dialogue around the importance of education, in partnership with Student Veterans of America (SVA), The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and Edelman.

The goals of this year’s Bateman Competition were to increase awareness on college campuses and in communities about veterans who are students around the globe, as well as increasing the support and networks for these deserving individuals.

BATE

2016 PRSSA Bateman Team

Pictured:

Front left to right: Stephanie Stradel, Megan Klamrowski

Back left to right: Kimberly Lohre, Megan Schroeder, Mallory Radney

CASE

2016 J455 Public Relations Campaigns

Pictured:

Front left to right: Jessica Zemlicka, Reegan Wallander, Stephanie Stradel, Megan Klamrowski, Mallory Radney

Back left to right: Kimberly Lohre, Megan Schroeder, Veronica Thiel, Connor Burke, Hannah Bostwick, Kristine Siebers

 





Bergin’s Book Tour, Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook

21 04 2016

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Journalism department alumna Mary Bergin recently finished her fifth book, “Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook.” Bergin, who specializes in travel and food writing, captures the essence of nostalgia and the iconic fare Wisconsin has to offer.

Bergin said she knew it would be a fun project. “It also helps preserve a part of Wisconsin’s culinary heritage,” Bergin said. “Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook” contains over 60 recipes from 40 supper clubs and Korbel, which is for the Old Fashioned Cocktail Bergin said.

If you are interested in meeting the author or learning more about the book, Bergin is on a book tour. For several of her events, Bergin will be teaming up with filmmaker Holly De Ruyter who made a supper club documentary.

Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook Schedule of Events:

April 19: UW Oshkosh Alumni Association, Mark’s East Side, Appleton, book talk

April 29 (2 p.m.), April 30 (3 p.m.), May 2 (6 p.m.) and May 4 (7:45 p.m.): Supper club documentary showings at Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago

May 5: Cameron Public Library/Senior Citizens Center cookbook talk, 2 p.m.

May 5: Lehmann’s Supper Club dinner, talk, movie showing, Rice Lake, 5 p.m.

May 6: Isle Theatre, Cumberland, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. film screenings

May 7: Redbery Bookstore cookbook signing, Cable, 10:30 a.m.

May 7: Hayward Public Library cookbook talk, 2 p.m.

May 7: Park Theater movie showing, talk, Hayward, 7:30 p.m.

May 9: McMillan Library film screening, Wisconsin Rapids, time to be announced

May 19: ArtStart, Rhinelander 6pm: Old Fashioned Happy Hour with book selling and signing, selling raffle tickets; 6:50-7pm-ish: Intro and film; 7:50-talk-question/answer, more book selling/signing and raffle drawing.

June 1: Brown County Library, Wisconsin food talk, including cookbook, 6 p.m.

 





They’re More Than Just Their Shoes- Professional Advice From Red Shoes PR, Inc.

6 04 2016

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Recently, the Dr. Julie Henderson Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter at UW Oshkosh had the opportunity to go on an agency tour of Red Shoes PR, Inc. The students participated in a question and answer session with surprise guest Mayor Tim Hanna of Appleton and a professional panel of members from the agency. Panel members included Red Shoes’ President Lisa Cruz, Kristen Schremp, and two UWO journalism department alumnae, Karilyn Robinson and Lauree Frechette. Below are the top five insights from the Red Shoes PR team.

  1. Do your research

Research is essential in public relations in a variety of ways. Some of those ways are researching who you are going to be working with, interviewing with, or whose business you’ll be visiting. The Red Shoes team wanted to drive that last example home, by giving the members of PRSSA a pop quiz. The students were quizzed on things that were discussed during the Q-A session to test their listening skills and things that would require prior research such as, “What is the name of Red Shoes PR’s blog?”

(The answer is Above The Fold)

  1. Wear many hats

Nine individuals staff Red Shoes, and while they all have their own titles and specialties, the reality of being a small business requires these professionals to be able to work in a multitude of areas. For example, your title may be content developer but you need to be willing (and able) to be a client solutions coordinator if and when your boss needs you to be.

  1. You will utilize your classes

As a student you’re being prepared to wear those many hats by your journalism classes. Both Robinson and Frechette mentioned using skills from their classes at UWO on a daily basis. Two of the classes they referenced were J221: Writing For The Media and J340: New and Emerging Media.

  1. Have an outlet

Public relations is a never-ending job. The hours on the office door may say 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but that isn’t necessarily when you’re done working. Things happen, some projects require extra work; sometimes there will be events or meetings you need to attend. Having a busy schedule makes it important that you find an outlet away from your work. Find something you’re passionate about and set time aside to focus on it. One outlet amongst the Red Shoes team is volunteering. They volunteer at a variety of places such as Orphan Animal Rescue & Sanctuary, Homeless Connections, and the Center for Grieving Children.

  1. “Take risks. Dream big.”-Lisa Cruz

That risk might be trying a crazy idea, like having George Wendt hand deliver your business proposal (which Cruz successfully did) or pursuing your dream job.

If you’re interested in joining the Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA Chapter, meetings are on Thursdays at 5 p.m. in Sage 3412. To learn more visit their Facebook and Twitter.

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Making the most of advising…

19 02 2016

By Catie Schultz (@CatieSchultz17)

When you are in college, one of the most stressful decisions to make is deciding which classes to take. You want classes that are interesting and that fit well within your major/minor.

When you look at the process as a whole, it can seem overwhelming and daunting. Fortunately, the UW Oshkosh Journalism Department has great faculty advisers who are willing to help you when choosing your classes.

As a non-traditional transfer student, I was worried about the advising process. I had no clue where to start. Luckily, my journalism advising experience has been painless. I worked one-on-one with my adviser who answered my questions and concerns. A plan was laid out that was beneficial to me based on where I was academically.

Laurin Krekling, a Journalism (Advertising) and Public Relations major, shared her experiences with advising. “As a traditional undergraduate student who has changed my major more than once, I have learned to appreciate how helpful the Journalism Department’s advising sessions are.  This last semester was my first time advising with the faculty, and it helped me a lot. I was able to sit down and personally talk with the adviser one-on-one. I think it helped out a lot that these advisers also taught some of the classes I was going to be in and gave me more of an up-close view,” Krekling said.

The advisers are here to help you complete the program as soon as possible, excel in the journalism program as well as take the best classes that will be beneficial for you and your future career goals.

“They were also very helpful in making sure I graduate as fast as possible. They were able to lay out the rest of my classes for me so I could visually see what the rest of my years here at the university looked like. I think that every student needs to take advantage of this because they can help you from the simple things of picking out classes, to helping you choose your emphasis and even show you internship opportunities,” Krekling said.

Here are some things to remember that will help you with the advising process.

  1. Sign up for the appropriate time and do it early–Signup for advising appointments starts next week. The sign-up sheets are posted outside of each journalism adviser’s office. Journalism classes fill up quickly, so the earlier you see your adviser, the better chance you have of getting into the classes that you need.

Note: Make sure you come early! Students will only have 15 minutes to meet with their advisor, so if you are late, you will lose part of your appointment time.

  1. Come prepared–Bring your current STAR report and come with a general idea of the classes you are interested in taking or have questions about.

Cindy Schultz has sent out an email that gives detailed information about the registration process. Please read the information carefully so you have a stress-free advising experience. For more information on journalism courses that are offered, see the curriculum worksheet.

Happy advising week!

 

 

 





Journalism Alumnus Takes on Japan

15 02 2016

Tom Hanaway2

Interview by Laurin Krekling (@LaurinKrekling)

Is a career abroad in your future? Journalism alumnus Tom Hanaway (2011) is living his dream of moving to another country to pursue his work in news and social media. Tom currently works as a web editor- social media manager for The Japan Times.

What was your major and emphasis when you went to UW Oshkosh?

Journalism with an emphasis in writing/editing.

What made you want to major in this?

I always loved news, ever since I was a child. I knew that journalism was an interesting field that offered many chances to be creative. I also felt like working in journalism is a fulfilling career where you can really feel like you’re making a difference.

Did you always know you wanted to study this?

Yes, ever since I was young. I remember in middle school telling all of my teachers that I was going to major in journalism, so it was my plan for years.

What advice would you give to other college students?

My advice is to do as much as possible! Do internships, join clubs and meet people. There are so many opportunities you can do as a college student, so take advantage of them. There are many study abroad programs and internships only available to current students, so take advantage of as much as you can. Also, befriend your teachers. My professors helped me countless times after college with job and life advice after graduation.

What class in college was the most useful to you?

Writing for the Media is one of the first classes journalism students have to take, and it’s honestly one of the most helpful. I’m still referring back to this class when writing articles, and thank goodness they jammed AP style into our heads because I still use it on a daily basis.

Were you involved in any clubs or organizations during your time at UW Oshkosh that helped you be successful? If so, which ones and why?

I was involved in a few, including the Social Media Club. These clubs taught me a lot of things outside of class and also helped me meet other students. I honestly learned so much from other students, including how they were applying to jobs and how they got their internships. It’s important to network with people in the business world, but don’t ignore your classmates.

How were you able to get your first job out of college and what is some advice for new college graduates on finding their first job?

My advice is to do what I did — in addition to networking, search everything. Bigshoesnetwork, LinkedIn, and yes, even Craigslist to find jobs. That’s how I found my first position. You might assume that a lot of companies will post their jobs on more well-known sites like LinkedIn, but honestly many of the people who are looking for editors or people in public relations have no idea about these sites, so they post on sites like Craigslist and hope to find the right people. I also recommend doing something while job searching. Start a blog, write articles to other sites, and take up photography. Just do something so you can show employers you’ve been sharpening your skills while job hunting. This shows that you’re self-motivated and have many skills to offer.

Did you always want to move to a new country?

Yes! I’ve always wanted to live in a different country — at least for part of my life. Many of my friends and Oshkosh professors told me that my 20s were my best time to do something so radical, so I just dove in and did it.

What gave you the courage to move to a new country?

I have two friends who lived abroad for several years — one in South Korea and one in Australia — and I was always so jealous of the adventures they were having and the culture shocks they seemed to have on a weekly basis. They inspired me to try it, too.

What was your biggest fear about moving to a different country? Did these fears ever become a reality, and if so how did you overcome then?

I guess no having any kind of safety net is the biggest fear. Going to a new country means that your family or your friends can’t help you out. At the beginning, you kind of have to rely on yourself almost 100 percent in order to get things done. The first month living in Japan was extremely difficult — learning how to fill out forms, opening banks accounts, buying a phone, signing up for insurance and so on. But if you can get over that first huge hurdle, then the rest is pretty smooth.

What is the hardest thing about living so far away from home?

The hardest thing is obviously missing friends and family back home. The hardest parts are when you miss important moments — weddings, funerals, births and parties. You wish you could just snap your fingers and be back home, but that’s not how things work. It’s also hard to keep up with friends sometimes because of the time zones. Usually people are asleep when you’re awake, and vice versa, so it can be hard getting a hold of people.

What is the biggest difference about living in Japan compared to America?

Japan is much more about the community, and America is much more about the individual. In Japan, you always have to be aware of the people around you and in your group. Americans might see it as strict, but in Japan you have to be quiet on public transportation, make sure every single person is OK with a decision, and so on. In America we value being an individual more. For example, in America, if someone has a dissenting opinion, we hear them out and try to alter plans to fit them, or at least listen to them. In Japan, it would be seen as disruptive or selfish to ask people to alter certain plans. So it’s tricky.

That, and the language. Obviously English is different than Japanese. Also, in Japanese you tend to be a lot more indirect than in English. Instead of saying “Do this” you would say something like “If it’s OK, could you do this for me?”

Do you see yourself staying abroad or is it more of a temporary position?

I think at the moment it’s staying abroad until it no longer feels right. Currently I’m loving it. I love the challenge of learning Japanese, I love experiencing new things about the culture all the time, and I love how safe and clean it is here. So at this point I’m not too sure.

What is a typical day at your work like and what are your responsibilities?

I work on a variety of things, including editing the website, doing social media, tracking statistics, working with interns, and sometimes I write articles, too. Every day is different, but that’s what I love about it.

Were there a lot of differences between your typical workday in the United States compared to Japan?

Since we have many Westerners in our office, it’s not too different. The only big difference is that when you leave the office, you have to say “otsukaresamadesu” to your co-workers, which kind of means “Thanks for your hard work.” Everybody says it to everyone when they leave.

What is some advice that you have when it comes to networking?

My advice is just to be friendly and open. Attend events, have a business card handy, and have your elevator pitch ready. What you need to know about networking is that it doesn’t always pay off instantly. Sometimes months or years after you meet someone, they’ll reach out to you with a job offer or a lead. So be patient.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with me that I did not already ask?

The journalism program at Oshkosh is fantastic. The professors are amazing and the classes truly prepare you for the real world. Also, be open-minded with your major. Despite people saying that news is dying, there are so many different jobs out there in public relations, editing, social media and more. You kind of have to be a jack-of-all-trades type, but the possibilities are really endless.





How They Got There: Discover Wisconsin’s Mariah Haberman

30 11 2015

Interview by Brenna McDermot (@letterstowomen)

2010 UW Oshkosh and journalism department alumna Mariah Haberman is the host and brand manager of Discover Wisconsin, the nation’s oldest-running travel TV show. After graduation Haberman went on to do agency and consulting work and win the title Miss Wisconsin Central 2012.

Mariah Haberman

When you were in school, did you know that you wanted to work in television? What was your ultimate goal?

My 6th grade career report was about the role of an anchorwoman. So yes, there was always some sort of desire to get into television but by the time high school rolled around, I decided TV was not a realistic career path. I was instead swayed by the challenging, fascinating and exciting world that is PR and marketing.

But during my senior year of college, I somehow found myself on stage competing in the Miss Oshkosh 2010 pageant. This experience sparked a three-year journey to the Miss Wisconsin competition, which ultimately reignited my desire to pursue some sort of public position after all.

My career goal back then was to either become editor-in-chief of a woman’s magazine or owner of my own PR firm. I still think both would make for a kickass career but I see myself heading in a slightly different direction these days.

 

When you were a student at UW Oshkosh, what did you do outside of class in order to prepare you for your career? Did you take any radio-TV-film classes or participate in Titan TV?

I didn’t take any radio-TV-film classes or partake in Titan TV but boy, I wish I had—especially considering UW-Oshkosh has a renowned RTF program. I was heavily focused on the journalism side, which I also really loved.

As far as outside involvement, my immersion in the Miss Wisconsin program absolutely prepared me for what I do today but at the time, I didn’t realize it was laying the groundwork for what I now do. Of course, my internships also each played a key role on the marketing side of my position.

 

What were some of your favorite and most useful classes at UW Oshkosh? 

Every journalism class! The UW-Oshkosh J-department does an excellent job arming its students with a solid foundation, particularly so in writing and AP style. I’m always surprised by the number of professionals I encounter today who want so badly to “find the story”…but don’t have the critical writing skills to tell it—and that’s a tragedy for anyone who considers themselves a storyteller, whether they work in journalism, marketing, television or the like.

A few journalism teachers who come to mind include Sara Steffes Hansen. Dr. Julie Henderson, Dana Baumgart, Mike Cowling, Miles Maguire and Barb Benish, among others!

I also took an intro history class when I was a sophomore that left a pretty big impression on me. I had a fabulously passionate professor (Stephen Kercher), who helped me appreciate the excitement in history and politics.

 

What skills do you suggest students who want to go into journalism or public relations work on honing the most while they are in school? 

Write, write, write! Try all different styles of writing: fiction, non-fiction, headline writing, social media, blogging, etc. Then take the initiative to ask others for feedback on your writing. You should always want to grow and that should be the case for anyone at any experience level in any industry.

 

What was it like transitioning from student to public relations professional? How did you get your first job after graduation?

Well, I still consider myself a student in so many ways but my first job out of college was a temporary position as a PR & Social Media Assistant at a firm in Chicago called Carol Fox & Associates. This company specializes in entertainment and the arts, so when I showed my interviewers the campaign portfolio I worked on as a senior for our “client,” the Grand Opera House, I could tell they were impressed. Still, I didn’t get an offer right away…I had to follow up a few times to make sure they remembered meeting me and they finally invited me to work there from September until December in 2010.

 

Was working in an agency what you expected it to be like? 

My very first boss at Carol Fox & Associates made a comment to me that she didn’t think I was cut out for agency work. This stung but what I knew at the time (and she clearly didn’t) was that I just wasn’t cut out for that particular agency. So what I realized straight out of the UWO gates was that every agency is unique and like any career really, it may take a few sloppy attempts before you find the perfect fit.

I consulted shortly after leaving CF&A and later, accepted a position at another agency – this time in downtown Madison at a firm called Hiebing. When I dreamt of the “agency world” as a college kid, I thought of a place like Hiebing, where you may have smart, demanding clients but clever and creative colleagues and inspiring leaders.

Today, I work at Discover Mediaworks in Madison, which is part agency, part production firm. I get challenging work every day and I also get to spend my time with a super awesome team. (Confession: That is one aspect I’ll say I didn’t think much about back in college: the importance of having wonderful colleagues. You can have the most impressive clients and interesting work, but if your co-workers are lame, you’ll be miserable. #Fact.)

 

Why did you decide to do your own consulting, and why did you stop?

I wish I could tell you that after leaving CF&A in Chicago, I was inundated with clients begging to work with me but…ah, not so. Although I knew I wasn’t meant to work at CF&A long-term, I was hoping they’d hire me because, well…because I didn’t have a back-up plan come December. But a full-time job offer never came my way and so, I moved back to Madison and did what any desperate, jobless 23-year-old would do (?) – I scoured Craigslist for clients. Yep. I met with realtors, construction managers, even an owner of a wine shop start-up. It was random and weird but I was ambitious and open-minded and optimistic.

Was it ideal? No. Not in the slightest. I hardly made any money and it felt like I was hustling for nothing. I was living in my aunt’s spare bedroom. And the whole “CEO of my own PR firm” thing sure didn’t feel like how I dreamt it would. But I learned so much and I think it helped me look pretty decent when I went to apply at my next employer (Hiebing), where they happened to be searching for an ambitious account coordinator for their PR team.

My main takeaway during these first couple of years was probably: “This career thing is messy, even downright ugly at times but, if I stick it out, someone will notice my awesomeness! (Right!?).” (ßTotal Millennial ‘tude)

 

Did you enjoy working for yourself? 

Yes and no. The pay was no bueno. But I loved the pressure of having the success of someone else’s marketing efforts on my shoulders—so in a way, it confirmed that I was in the right field. Freelancing may not have been my first choice but looking back, I’m proud that I had the gumption to make up my own job when 2010 had practically nothing to offer college grads like me; I was as determined as I was inexperienced.

 

What were the challenges of having your own consulting business?

You have to have a ton of self-motivation and a fair amount of confidence. The motivation part, I had down. Consulting definitely tested my self-confidence but lucky for me, UW-Oshkosh granted me a strong background in PR  and my pageant days meant I was generally unintimidated by the folks who sat across from me at meetings—no matter how brilliant or smart they were. (If you can answer, “What are the top three biggest threats facing our government today?” in 20 seconds in front of a pageant panel of five distinguished strangers than you can sure as heck spitball marketing ideas with some realtors.)

And as I previously mentioned, I certainly didn’t make millions while consulting but I consider my freelancing gig an investment as I picked up invaluable lessons such as the importance of coming prepared, being open-minded, doing my homework and digging deep to get the job done right.

 

How did you get your job at Discover Wisconsin? 

 

While I held my first and only pageant title, Miss Wisconsin Central 2012, I reached out to someone I kinda, sorta knew who worked at Discover Mediaworks, the production company that produces Discover Wisconsin. I asked him if the team would be willing to let me guest host one episode. He didn’t say yes, but he didn’t say no and he did promise to keep in touch and run my idea past the managing director “when the time was right.” I remained optimistic. I also would remain in touch with him – sending messages here and there on Facebook to make sure he knew I was still interested in meeting their team and discussing the possibility of guest hosting a show.

They finally invited me in to “audition.” I should have been pretty darn nervous as I’ve never done any sort of audition in my life – and truthfully, I didn’t think it went all that well. They were originally only going to offer new talent part-time positions as ‘field hosts.’ They ended up offering me a full-time job as the lead host and marketing strategist. It’s been quite the adventure ever since!

 

What are your responsibilities at Discover Wisconsin? 

As a host, I perform voiceovers, improv and scripted material, conduct interviews, dress up in weird costumes, waterski behind planes, eat lots of cheese curds, ATV in -30 degree weather, etc. etc.

As the brand manager, I take part in tradeshows, premiere parties, client meetings and handle media relations and social media efforts. I oversee our radio program, marketing materials and scriptwriting.

 

Would you consider your job at Discover Wisconsin a public relations position?

In part, yes. My job is very strange. I don’t really have a lane. But I tend to get bored easily so this position suits me well!

 

What can a journalism student do to make him or herself a good candidate for television? 

Be eager to learn…forever. You want to learn about other people and you should want to learn about yourself, too. I think sometimes on-camera folks get a weird rap because of the vanity aspect, but I wish I could eloquently describe to others how much I’ve learned about myself by watching what I do and say on camera. It’s so not about whether my hair looks decent but instead about the way I communicate to others and how they communicate back. It’s fascinating and surprising and that is one of the thrills of getting to work on camera.

 

What role has networking played in your professional career? 

If I didn’t make a point to reach out to a Facebook acquaintance I “kinda, sorta knew,” I would not have this job. (And now I consider that guy a good friend of mine – bonus!) Networking is invaluable. I’d say even more generally, just putting yourself out there and not being afraid to say hello to someone or being open to meeting up with someone over coffee is a good thing – you just never know what could come of it.

 

What have you found is the best way to network with the right people not just a lot of people? 

Social media. I’m honestly not the biggest fan of networking events because as your question points out: You do tend to meet a crazy amount of people—and not always the “right people.” With social media, it’s easier to strike a quick, casual conversation with the “right people.”

 

Is social media an important part of your career? If so, how do you use it to enhance your career? Does someone REALLY need to be active on most platforms? 

Social media is a huge part of my career, both for the Discover Wisconsin brand, but also for me as a public figure. I love giving fans a peek behind the “curtain”. That’s also the place I most often receive feedback from viewers. And, when I started, I relied on social media to learn about the state of Wisconsin very quickly. I get inundated with travel recommendations and since I’m still a relative newbie in regard to being an “expert on all things Wisconsin,” I do rely on social media to get answers and ideas from viewers.

I don’t know if I would say someone who wants to be in television absolutely needs to be active on most platforms; I’d say do what you love. For me personally, I have fun on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat so those are the channels I focus my efforts on. For the Discover Wisconsin brand, it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and our blog.

 

It is often said that today’s job seekers need to brand themselves. How did you go about doing that successfully? 

I’m sure that’s true but there is something about calculatingly branding oneself that rubs me the wrong way. Getting your name out there and working hard to differentiate yourself from the competition? Yes and yessss. I suppose that is part of personal branding, but my advice would be to make sure you’re emphasizing your strongest traits while working on your weaknesses. Obviously, don’t shout your weaknesses from the rooftop but take active steps to improve on your flaws – without being disingenuous on- or offline.

 

For many this is a time of self-discovery, so they may not know exactly what they want their brand is or exactly what they want to do. What advice can you give to people like this? 
I think the journey to self-discovery involves as many experiences as possible. I love new and different. Surround yourself with people who maybe have very different interests and take up experiences that you normally wouldn’t.
And don’t lose your authenticity along the way. That’s key.

 

Current students are mostly used to working with people their own age. Is working with people from all generations different? Are there different ways to work with each?

Yes, working with folks from different generations is different – but it’s also better. A healthy work culture is a diverse one. I love learning things from people younger than me and people older than me; people from completely different professional backgrounds and people who worked in similar fields. Humans are generally inclined to connect with people who are most like them, but I would challenge anyone reading this to strike up a conversation with whoever seems the most unlike them at work or in the classroom. I’ll think you’ll be surprised at what you might learn.

General rule of thumb: Approach every work relationship with the “What can I learn from this person?” sort of attitude. Everyone wants to play teacher. Be the student.

 

With all life transitions comes fear: fear of moving, fear of not finding a job, fear of not being prepared, fear of the unknown, etc. What kind of fear did you experience as a student or as a professional and how did you overcome it? 

I’ve experienced all kinds of fear and I’ve come to realize fear is an amazing thing. Use it to your advantage and do not let it cripple you. Overcoming fear is actually quite simple: You just barrel through it. You say yes to every opportunity you possibly can. So when you’re asked to give a presentation at the local boys and girls club, say yes. Better yet, you proactively reach out to the boys and girls club to ask if they’ll let you come in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve introduced myself to an organization and asked if they’d allow me to come in to speak about x, y or z. I do that less and less these days but in my first couple years as I was trying to develop my public speaking skills, you can bet that I was putting myself out there as much as I could. At the risk of sounding a bit corny, it really does come down to facing fear and saying, “Watch me shine.”

 

Is there anything else I should know about you or your career that I didn’t ask?

I believe my career started long before college graduation. People tend to have this weird sort of notion that the “real world” begins when that diploma is handed to you. This is garbage. I’ve had a lot of crazy, part-time and/or temporary odd jobs that played a role in my profession today – from standing on the line at Oscar Mayer to bartending in Oshkosh to being a ring girl at a handful of MMA fights. I always felt a bit self-conscious that I wasn’t one of those college students who worked at the same grocery store for eight years but every single weird, odd job I had made me a bit sharper, a bit more sagacious and a quick(er) study.

My point in sharing this is to reiterate the advantage of partaking in as many varied experiences as possible. It doesn’t need to be in the form of work but just know that the more people you meet, positions you take in and organizations you learn about, the better you’ll get at jumping head first into new experiences sans trepidation.








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